Blue Card Orientation

Are you eleven years of age and tired of just playing in the gym and are you serious about getting in shape? Well the YMCA has a program for you.

Sign up now to receive your Wellness Center Training from one of the quality YMCA personal trainers.

To Complete the Blue Card Training you will need to study the Blue Card Study Sheet. After you review the study sheet and tour the Wellness Center there is a test, you must correctly answer 75% of the questions to receive your blue card.

How:Call the YMCA at 815-223-7904 to set up your appointment

Fee: Free to YMCA Members only

***Please call and set up an appointment now***



Illinois Valley Y Blue Card Training Study Sheet


Blue Card participants are responsible for reading and reviewing the following information; there will be a multiple question test covering the study sheet and information discussed during the Wellness Center Orientation. Blue Card participants MUST pass the multiple question test with a 75% to be issued their Blue Card for admittance to the Wellness Center. •

Warm Up

Five or ten minutes of anything that gets your heart pumping and literally warms you up. Try to move all parts of your body – if you’re marching on the spot to get going, pump and swing your arms. Dancing to some good music is a great way to warm up, and has the added benefit of putting you in a good mood.

Be Smooth

Aim for smooth, flowing, continuous movement when using weights. Fast, jerky or uneven movements will put unnecessary strain on your muscles and could result in injury.

Breathe Freely

Don’t hold your breath. Your muscles need a constant supply of oxygenated blood, by denying them that you risk broken blood vessels or even a hernia. It doesn’t really matter at which point of an exercise you breathe in or out, the important thing is to breathe freely throughout the exercise.


To ensure you are working your muscles in the most effective way it is important to focus on what you’re doing. If your mind is elsewhere it’s easy to fall into bad form or forget to count repetitions. One set done properly when you’re paying attention, will be more beneficial than two sets when you’re not.

Choose the right weight

You should choose a weight that you are comfortable with, but that will work the muscles i.e. you should be able to feel the muscle working, but not so heavy you have difficulty lifting it smoothly. General rule: use a weight that tires the muscle(s) out within 8-12 repetitions.

Rule of Thumb

Several studies show that doing one set per muscle builds just as much strength as doing three sets per muscle, at least for the first three or four months of training. If you’re a novice or if you’re starting again after a layoff, begin with one set of 10 to 12 repetitions, and make sure your last rep feels challenging. You should feel like you have control of the weight but if you did one more rep, you may not be able to make it all the way. • Balance your weight training workout: Work all your major muscles and muscle groups — abdominals, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Exercise opposing muscles in a balanced way. (For example: Chest and Back, Triceps and Biceps, Quads and Hamstrings)

Rest and Recover

Your muscles need 48 hours to recover after a weight training workout. During this period the muscle development you are training for takes place – each time you work them out your muscles should come back that bit stronger. You need to allow the time for this muscle recovery and should leave at least 48 hours after working a muscle before you work it again.

Don’t Overdo It

Don’t get carried away during your first session and do lots of reps with heavy weights. This is especially important for beginners who have no experience of weight training – you could end up very sore! Use your initial sessions to practice getting your form right with fairly light weights. Once you’ve mastered the moves you can move on to heavier weights.

Free Weights vs. Machine

Most people who work out with weights usually use two different kinds: free weights, which include barbells and dumbbells, and weight machines. Machines often help you work on a specific muscle, while free weights usually work a group of muscles at the same time.